Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): Boxee, CBS, Vudu, ViewSonic, Brightcove, Disney-ABC, Yahoo!

Preview of Boxee's iPad App

--Boxee Product News: Boxee Box Firmware, CBS Deal, Vudu 3D, Boxee for iPad, ViewSonic TV
--Chief Product Officer, Zach Klein, Leaving Boxee
--Brightcove Launches "Open Source @ Brightcove"
--Report: Disney in Talks about Offering Content on Yahoo! Connected TV
--Karin Gilford Named SVP of Digital Media for ABC Television Network

Due to the large volume of news generated by the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which took place last week in Las Vegas, we are covering stories in this issue in summary/round-up form. Our regular news coverage will return shortly.

  • OTT specialist, Boxee, has generated a fair amount of news over the past few days: 1) The company has released a new version of the firmware for its D-Link-manufactured Boxee Box. According to a blog post by the company's VP of marketing, Andrew Kippen, the new version of the firmware "has many bug fixes and...lots of work on the Boxee Browser." Kippen added, however, that "we do have one frustrating bit to share with you: that while we've been demo'ing [broadband video content service] Vudu without a hitch this week at [CES], there's still a few issues the technical team is trying to get to the bottom of. We'll push the app out to you as soon as it's ready and send out an email so you know the moment it goes live," Kippen wrote. 2) The company has announced that it has signed a deal with CBS that will enable Boxee users to purchase full episodes of current and library shows from the network starting later this year. 3) The company has announced that Vudu's new 3D streaming movies service will be available on the Boxee Box. 4) At CES, the company provided a preview of an iPad app for its service. According to Boxee CEO, Avner Ronen, Boxee for iPad "enables you to access videos from your Watch Later list as well as from your Feed (stuff shared from Facebook/Twitter), and staying true to Boxee roots also enables you to stream videos directly to the iPad from your PC/Mac (without requiring you to sync)." 5) The company has announced that ViewSonic has developed a Boxee-powered 46-inch HDTV. "Like in the case of the D-Link and Iomega boxes [note: for more on the latter, see the article published on itvt.com, January 3rd] the ViewSonic TV has Intel Atom CE4100 inside, which means it can deliver the ultimate Boxee experience, playback of 1080p, browser, accelerated Adobe Flash, HTML5, apps, local, Internet, etc.," Ronen wrote on Boxee's corporate blog.
  • In other Boxee news: Zach Klein, a co-founder of Vimeo who joined Boxee in September, 2009 as chief product officer, is leaving the company to found a start-up. Business Insider has more.
  • Online video platform provider, Brightcove, has launched "Open Source @ Brightcove," which it bills as "a community-supported initiative to host a variety of applications, SDK's and tools for the Brightcove platform in one central location...The initiative, just like the code it hosts, was born out of the desire to make working with the Brightcove platform incredibly simple," Brightcove explains on a company blog. "There are a multitude of tools available for use by developers and clients that up until now had no single home; they were scattered throughout the Internet. These tools also had dissimilarities, various support paths and often confusing overlap. We aim to change that."
  • Disney is in talks with Yahoo! about making some of its networks available on the latter's connected-TV platform, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal this week that cited "people familiar with the matter." The Journal also reported that News Corp. is talking to Samsung and other companies about licensing TV shows and movies from the 20th Century Fox library for delivery on tablets and connected TV's. "Disney is looking to create widgets for its ESPN, ABC, and Disney networks that could pipe video content over the Internet to Yahoo! Connected TV sets," the Journal stated. "The widgets haven't been made yet, nor has a final decision been made to use the widgets to transmit video, as opposed to other content, the people [familiar with the matter] said. The ESPN widget could include short clips with scores and statistical information, while the Disney widget could include items such as movie trailers or clips from Disney Channel, the people said. The ABC widget could offer limited content from TV shows, they said, but it remained unclear if the network would offer full episodes."
  • In related news: Disney-ABC Television Group has named Karin Gilford SVP of digital media for the ABC Television Network, with responsibility for the network's Web site and its interactive TV and mobile efforts. She was previously SVP of online media at Comcast Interactive Media, with responsibility for such properties as Comcast.net and Fancast.com.

 

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